Employee Development PlansEmployee Development Plans - A Catalyst for Change
Is Margaret ready for leadership? Would George be more productive with his multicultural clients if he learned Spanish? Will the composition of our workforce be changing in the next five years? All of these questions can be answered by developing meaningful plans for the career development of your employees.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “The [Organizational] and Employee Development Plans are a discipline that deals with the overall arrangement of the organization and its functions, including both the long-term and short-term identification and development of its human resources. It includes the process of enhancing the effectiveness of an organization and the well-being of its members through planned interventions . . . the necessary skills to meet current and future job demands. . .”
During the normal course of business, these plans can be overlooked or deemed unimportant. If there are no chronic issues, there isn’t a catalyst for change. However, employees can be categorized according to their level of motivation. High-achieving workers tend to chart their own professional course and thus are continually strengthening their skills. Mediocre workers may lapse into stagnation. They may be receptive to learning a new skill, but may wait for approval from management. Still, low-achieving employees may accomplish just enough to get by. They will accept a request for professional development from their supervisor, but they will not initiate it.
A common scenario is the absence of a key player due to layoffs. Since Jane, a senior account manager, used to handle the northern territory, who will assume her responsibilities? Who is qualified to handle her job? In an article entitled “Temporary work a new reality,” that appeared in the February 27, 2011 issue of the Atlanta Journal & Constitution writer Laura Raines says, “ . . .sees a shift from an Industrial Age model of doing business, where organizations hired, nurtured and trained employees for the long haul, to a Knowledge Age model that is leaner and more adaptable to a fast-changing global market.” Employee Development Plans would acknowledge this pivotal change and prompt a solution to address it.
Although each plan should be tailored, all plans are somewhat standardized. Each one lists areas of improvement, specific goals, and dates of achievement. However, the most important aspect of these plans are an opportunity for discussion between employer and employee. Always consult a human resources professional. Human resources managers are certified from SHRM or the American Society for Training & Development and their input can be invaluable.
Research has shown that Employee Development Plans contribute to employee retention. Opening a dialogue with employees concerning personal fulfillment and career development is a positive step for the worker and the organization. These plans are a proven formula for long-term success.
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Dr Franklin C. Ashby
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